Under The Covers and Reading

October 11, 2008

When You Don’t Trust Someone Else’s Reading Recommendations

Filed under: Uncategorized — by underthecoversandreading @ 2:46 pm

I  don’t know if this has ever happened to you, but sometimes I’ll get reading suggestions from dear friends or even supposed literary ‘experts’ and find myself terribly skeptical.  I’ll dutifully read the book’s back cover ‘blurb’ and then think it just doesn’t sound like I book I’d pick out or even be interested in.  I don’t buy the book or even borrow it.  I just remember that it was strongly recommended.  I try to leave it at that.

Then something changes — my book club decides it wants to read this highly touted book or I see it at the library on the new fiction shelf– and I realize I’m just going to have to try it.

That’s just to me again– twice, in fact, this week.  The book my book club is reading was highly praised but I wasn’t initially interested.   It’s a UK release by Tim Rice’s daughter, Eva Rice, The Lost Art of Keeping Secrets

It’s set in 1950’s post-war London and I did not expect to like it after reading the first two chapters. A bit too chick-lit-y for me.   Since it’s for my book club and I adore my book club friends, I’ve had to press on.  Much to my surprise, it’s getting better.  I hope it keeps up that way and becomes an unexpected pleasure

The other overly recommended book is Olive Kitteridge, by Elizabeth Strout.

I’d read Amy and Isabelle almost a decade ago and loved it, but the new book was being pushed in an almost over the top manner last week when I went on the Book Club Field Trip.  The woman who oversees book clubs at the large independent bookstore kept saying it was THE book for book clubs to read.  Honestly, her hype turned me off immediately.  But, there it was, Olive Kitteridge, right on the library shelf yesterday calling my name.  I reasoned that since I wasn’t paying for it, I could at least see how wrong this woman was about the book.  Of course, when I got it home last night it was fabulous– at least the first two chapters.

I hate it when that happens!  Not really– It just humbles me and makes me laugh at myself a little more.  There’s something terribly lovely about being in the midst of reading two splendid books.


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